Friday, June 20, 2003
I just entered Teach for America- an Americorp program that trains you for five weeks and then sticks you in front of a classroom for two years. I am in my first week of that training in Houston, Texas. I have heard that the first year of teaching is one of the hardest things anyone can ever go through, so I figured, why not share my misery with others?
Teach for America is an organization I had heard a lot of criticism about before I joined. The process of applying was pretty easy, but the selection was very competitive. So far, for anyone thinking of joining, I'd still recommend it. They have been pretty organized. I was originally accepted into the Bay Area, California Corp, which was great because I was living in the Bay pretty happily. Then last Wednesday, they transfered me to work in lovely North Carolina, instead. Now, I only say "lovely" as a guess, having never been south of Colorado. So last Moday- looking for apartments in San Francisco. Today, the insides of my elbows are sticking together from humidity in Houston, Texas, where I am being trained. As a West Coast girl my entire life, I am more than a little worried about moving down south. When I mentioned to some of my new "friends" here in Houston that I appreciated it when people were not homophobic (in response to the word "fag" being used four times in two sentences), the entire group of ten stared at me as though I had just shouted that I was a pagan lesbian. I'm really not used to that kind of thing. For reals.
I have been lesson planning like crazy because even though I have only been here for five days, I will have my own class starting on Monday. With five days of training (be it as it were that those were about eighteen hour days), I will have 18 ESL students that range in age from 13-16 who speak absolutely no English. My task, as I understand it, is to teach them the elements of a short story....hmmm. We will see how that goes. ¶